November 19, 2019

Smiling Not As Simple As It Seems

posted on: Thursday September 30, 2010

Jenn DiPirro ’12/Commentary Staff

There is a woman that lives up the street from me at home, and my mother thinks she is so peculiar. “Why is she always smiling like that?” my Mom will ask. “What is there to be so happy about?” It is kind of bizarre to see someone smiling all the time. She is out in the garden watering her flowers, smiling. She is going for a power walk in her swooshie suit, smiling. She is outside in the rain without an umbrella, smiling. It’s just funny that my mother is often enraged by the fact that this woman is so visibly happy. My mother is not exactly a miserable person. I mean, she has her moments of psychosis just as often as any other mother. My question is why are people so bothered by the sight of happy people?

Personally, I often want to throw rocks at the sight of a happy couple holding hands. My best friend from home has been known to stick her head out of the car window and yell things at couples like, “He will lie to you!” or, “They all cheat!” Though this is not my immediate response upon seeing such a cheerful public display of affection, happy people are often a bit unsettling. This same best friend who likes to yell obscenities at couples on Main St. is also known for falling head over heels for guys almost instantly. We love her, but in this sense, she is a bit of a hypocrite. Though, aren’t we all?

Take my mother again as an example. She is probably going to kill me when she reads this, but if my mother had something to smile about like that weirdo up the street does, then she would probably wear that same goofy look.

A favorite quote of mine that one of my good friends said this summer is, “If you’re ugly, then you should smile.” I think that makes perfect sense. But does that mean we should walk around campus, not talking to anyone, just smiling? I would say no, because then we would look like freaks.

I guess the only time that I ever really struggle with other people’s happiness is when it comes to grades. I really hate when anyone, my friends especially, do better than me on any assignment or test. As a matter of fact, I get pretty upset when they have nicer shoes or make-up too. I am naturally a competitive person. This is what Kant referred to as “Unsocial Sociability.” (Shout out to Dr. Arroyo!) Unsocial Sociability is that feeling you get when a friend does better than you. You want to tear his or her head off, but you refrain because he or she is your friend and, well, you know what’s coming next; you just smile. I’m not fully sure how to combat the smiling issue myself, so I can’t really help you guys out with that. I wouldn’t want to be wrong and have a bunch of smiling freakazoids coming in and out of Feinstein. I myself look miserable everyday walking around campus. I never smile and will probably pretend to be on my cell phone at all times to avoid an awkward social encounter. I should probably smile more with JRW in the near future. So let’s whip out the Crest White Strips and show off those pearly whites, PC!

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